BUDGET TRAVEL TIPS
Dream Trips You Can Actually Afford
Think dream trips like Europe and Hawaii are totally out of reach? You'd be surprised how many affordable packages are out there to help. Here's our ultimate list of dream trip adventures—plus, the travel deals to help you get on your way.
Book it: Cruises onboard Norwegian Getaway start at $449 per person. Cruises onboard Norwegian Breakaway start at $469 per person. Great news for solo travelers: Norwegian's ships offer a special section full of studio-style staterooms that help to lower costs if you're traveling alone.
Who says you can't afford to take a safari in Africa? You just have to know where to look. Keep an eye out for sales at tour companies like G Adventures, Intrepid Travel, and others that frequently run tours to Africa. SmarTours is having a sale right now on a 9-day trip to South Africa that includes airfare from New York City on South African Airways, four nights' accommodations in Cape Town, two nights' accommodations in Kruger National Park, the flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg, a guided tour of Cape Town, and a full-day open-vehicle guided safari in Kruger National Park. If a Kenya safari is more your style, Intrepid Travel offers an 8-day trip to Nairobi, Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha, Loita Hills, and gives you time at the Masai Mara National Reserve.
Book it: SmarTours' sale for the Cape Town & Safari Express tour ends on June 5th, so if you want to take advantage of the sale price (from $1,799 per person including airfare from New York City), don't wait—prices go up to from $2,299 per person once the sale is over. The Kenya Wildlife Safari tour is available from Intrepid Travel, from $923 per person, land only.
If you think the perfect trip to Cuba is an impossible dream, think again! Thanks to companies like Friendly Planet Travel that offer government-approved people-to-people itineraries, there are several options at are available—while they might not be as budget-friendly we we'd hope, they do offer a ton of inclusions, and are among the most affordable trips to Cuba being offered right now that we've seen. If Havana's on your bucket list, check out the 6-day Discover Havana tour, which includes airfare from Miami to Havana via a U.S. Government-licensed charter service, one night at the Crowne Plaza Miami Airport Hotel, and four nights in superior first class hotels in Cuba. Friendly Planet Travel also takes care of the hassle of paperwork, licenses, and authorization letters that are necessary for travel to Cuba these days, covers mandatory health insurance needed to visit the country, and offers an educational exchange program so you get the most out of your time in Cuba. You'll also have day-trips to Alamar, Cojimar, and Las Terrazas before heading back to Havana each night. For those wanting to spend more time in this once-forbidden Caribbean country, check out the 9-day Colors of Cuba tour, which includes similar features and gives you time in Santa Clara, Sancti Spiritus, Trinidad, and Cienfuegos.
Although technically India did earn a spot on Budget Travel's To Go Or Not To Go: 2014 list due to last year's violent streak against women, things seem to be calming down now, and with strength in numbers, you'll be fine with a group if you go. SmarTours offers a great, affordable 8-day tour that includes international airfare from New York City on Air India and five nights in three different Indian cities: one night in Delhi, two nights in Agra, and two nights in Jaipur. The trip includes all transportation within the country, daily breakfast and a farewell group dinner, and an extensive sightseeing plan that includes guided trips to the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, the Red Fort in Delhi, the Memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, and an elephant ride to Amber Fort in Jaipur.
Book it: You'll have to act quickly on this one as SmarTours is currently having a sale that prices this tour from $1,299 per person if you book by June 5th. After that point, the prices rise to $1,799 per person, so don't wait!
Australia & New Zealand
Who wouldn't want to visit the Land Down Under—I mean, come on, have you seen these photos? Keep an eye out for airline sales by Qantas, Virgin Australia, and Air New Zealand, for starters, or watch for travel packages that include airfare, like those offered by Down Under Answers and Travelscene, which is running a special now thru June 14th that includes airfare from L.A. to Christchurch on Fiji Airways, two nights in Christchurch, two nights in Franz Joseph, three nights in Queenstown, and a six-day car rental, from $1,999 per person.
Book it: 9-Day Southern Explorer, Travelscene, from $1,999 per person based on double occupancy.
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